INTP-A vs. INTP-T: Personality Traits and Differences
by Lisa Sparrow
As an INTP, you probably want to know everything about your personality type—after all, nothing matters to you as much as expanding your knowledge!
Well, if you’ve yet to discover the difference between INTP-A and INTP-T identities, keep on reading!
In this article, we’ll uncover the meaning of “INTP-A” and “INTP-T” acronyms and learn more about the subtypes of the INTP personality type.
Comparing INTP-A and INTP-T Identities
To compare INTP-A and INTP-T identities, we first need to find out what these acronyms mean.
Essentially, INTP-A stands for assertive INTP, whereas INTP-T stands for turbulent INTP, which are the two different subtypes of the INTP (Architect) personality type.
Although both INTP-A and INTP-T identities share the same cognitive functions, there are some subtle—and not-so-subtle—differences between the two. Primarily, these differences stem from the fact that the assertiveness-turbulence scale measures neuroticism.
As a general rule, assertive INTPs are more emotionally stable and self-confident due to low levels of neuroticism. Turbulent INTPs, on the other hand, tend to be less self-assured and more vulnerable to negative emotions since they score higher on the neuroticism scale.
Most perceiving personality types are thought to be somewhat predisposed to turbulence, so it’s very likely that the INTP-T subtype is more prevalent than INTP-A.
Google Trends data also suggests that most INTPs might be turbulent, as significantly more people across the globe search for information on INTP-Ts than INTP-As:
INTP-A vs. INTP-T Strengths and Weaknesses
By far, the easiest way to understand the differences between INTP-A and INTP-T identities is to explore their strengths and weaknesses in depth.
So, let’s find out what their inherent strong and weak points are!
INTP-A Strengths & Weaknesses
More often than not, INTP-A personalities display the following strengths:
- Independence. While it’s true that most INTPs are rather individualistic, INTP-As tend to be more independent than their turbulent counterparts. They can easily make decisions all by themselves, without waiting for other people’s approval.
- Confidence. The assertiveness trait determines that INTP-A personalities are generally self-confident. Although they’re introverted, they find it easier to speak their mind than INTP-Ts and don’t worry much about other people’s opinions of them.
- Consistency. Since INTP-As are independent and self-confident, they tend to stick with their decisions and consistently work on achieving their goals.
That said, no one is perfect—and neither are assertive INTPs. Their most common weaknesses include:
- Arrogance. It’s not unusual for INTP-A personalities to come off as cocky, especially because they’re usually proud of their intelligence. Because of this, they may look down on less intelligent people and underestimate their ideas.
- Unwillingness to compromise. Since assertive INTPs are highly independent, they may refuse to adjust their actions, decisions, etc. to please others, which can cause problems in team settings.
- Emotional detachment. While most INTPs are known for their aloof demeanor, assertive ones, in particular, tend to keep people at arm’s length.
INTP-T Strengths & Weaknesses
Just like INTP-As, INTP-T personalities are gifted with distinct strengths, such as:
- Self-awareness. INTP-T personalities spend a great deal of time analyzing and reflecting on their weak points. As a result, they’re highly aware of their shortcomings and limitations, which often pushes them toward self-improvement.
- Openness to change. Turbulent INTPs are concerned with becoming better versions of themselves, so they’re rather open to change. They also don’t mind changing their decisions or tweaking their opinions if another option makes more sense to them.
- Willingness to collaborate. INTP-Ts are more concerned with people’s opinions than their assertive counterparts, so they’re more than happy to hear what others have to say. Thanks to this, they tend to be better team players.
Still, INTP-Ts have their flaws, including:
- Lack of confidence. Generally speaking, INTP-T personalities aren’t as confident in their abilities as INTP-As. They may find it more difficult to handle stress and recover from setbacks.
- Need for validation. Since turbulent INTPs lack self-confidence, they often rely on others to help them navigate life. Oftentimes, this leads them to approval-seeking behaviors, such as expecting others to always support their decisions.
- Indecisiveness. Given that INTPs tend to rely somewhat heavily on other people’s opinions, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they can be rather indecisive. This is especially true when others express disapproval of their decisions.
7 Key Differences Between INTP-A and INTP-T Personalities
Now that you have a better understanding of the distinct strengths and weaknesses of the two INTP subtypes, let’s see how they affect their self-perception and behavior in various real-life situations.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T Self-Confidence & Self-Image
As you might’ve noticed, one of the most striking differences between INTP-A and INTP-T personalities is their level of self-confidence, which also affects their self-image.
Generally, assertive INTPs have higher self-esteem than turbulent ones. They tend to go after their goals more tenaciously and usually feel a deeper sense of accomplishment after achieving them. Although they may come off as conceited, they simply know their worth and don’t let others dictate how they feel about themselves.
Meanwhile, turbulent INTPs often struggle with low self-esteem. In turn, they tend to rely on other people for approval, validation, and reassurance. As a result, their confidence may take a hit when others don’t support them, and they may react more sensitively to criticism.
Also, unlike INTP-As, INTP-Ts are relatively concerned with their social image. Because of this, they’re likely to take care of their appearance just so they can leave a positive impression on others.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T Decision-Making
As dominant introverted thinking (Ti) users, both INTP-A and INTP-T personalities make decisions based on logic. Still, there are some subtle nuances in their decision-making processes.
Individualistic and self-assured, INTP-As are more than capable of making decisions independently. Whether they’re pondering their options or have already made their choice, they rarely consider other people’s opinions. Because of this, they tend to be rather consistent and are less likely to change their decision after committing to it.
On the other hand, INTP-Ts often have a deep-seated fear of failure, and they want to ensure they’re making the right decision. For this reason, they’re more likely to consult with others and change their choices, opinions, and even direction based on new information. While this makes them more flexible, it can also cause them to come across as unreliable and unpredictable.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T Emotional Expression
Since extraverted feeling (Fe) is the inferior INTP cognitive function, it’s no surprise that emotional expression is a major weak point of the INTP personality type. Both INTP-A and INTP-T personalities are rather withdrawn, yet they also express their emotions in different ways.
Simply put, INTP-A personalities usually have strong control over their emotions, which makes them appear almost stoic. Although they aren’t easily affected by other people’s opinions, they usually embrace and welcome constructive criticism. However, they can be rather insensitive to other people’s feelings and struggle to attend to their emotional needs.
Meanwhile, INTP-Ts are more sensitive and emotionally volatile than INTP-As, so they may come off as moody, especially when others don’t agree with their ideas or criticize them. They’re also more prone to holding grudges and having regrets, but there’s an upside to this: turbulent INTPs are more aware of people’s emotions and can thus relate to them more easily.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T Under Stress
Another big difference between INTP-A and INTP-T personalities lies in how they handle stress.
While INTP-A personalities aren’t immune to stress, they are significantly more resilient to it than their turbulent cousins. Essentially, they don’t let stress get to them because they’re confident in their ability to get the situation under control. It also helps that they are rather decisive, as they can make decisions and thus solve any problems they encounter relatively quickly.
INTP-T personalities, meanwhile, are prone to self-doubt, which can make it difficult for them to handle stress. While they have great problem-solving skills, their fear of making mistakes may cause them to turn to others for support and guidance. They also tend to be more affected by sudden changes and are prone to giving up when things go out of their control.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T in Relationships
In relationships, INTP-A and INTP-T personalities alike value intellectual compatibility—oftentimes, they’re attracted to their partners’ minds above all else.
That said, INTP-T personalities may be more willing to compromise in relationships than assertive INTPs. Striving for constant improvement and perfection, turbulent INTPs might take feedback more sensitively, but they’re also more likely to consider it carefully and make the necessary changes. Also, they are usually more in tune with their partner’s emotional needs.
INTP-As, meanwhile, may be reluctant to show their feelings and emotions. They may rationalize them or avoid talking about them altogether. Also, they can be so self-assured that they may not always be willing to adapt to their partners' habits, needs, and preferences.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T in Friendships
In friendships, INTP-A and INTP-T personalities crave mental stimulation, so they’re typically most compatible with other thinking personality types.
That said, INTP-A personalities may be direct to the point of harshness, which some people might find off-putting. Still, they mean well—more often than not, they simply want to help their friends solve problems, even though they tend to deal with their issues by themselves.
Conversely, INTP-Ts are more careful about how they express their thoughts. Oftentimes, they see their inner circle as their support group and lean on them during difficult times. However, they can also be prone to taking their friends' actions and words to heart, which can lead them to struggle with forgiveness—it’s not unusual for them to harbor grudges.
INTP-A vs. INTP-T in the Workplace
In the workplace, INTP-A and INTP-T personalities act rather differently.
Thanks to their natural self-confidence, INTP-As are more likely to feel comfortable in leadership positions, which might explain why most famous INTPs are thought to be assertive. They prefer to work independently and find it more difficult to work in teams, as they generally like to do things their way.
INTP-Ts, meanwhile, like to collaborate with others despite their introverted natures. They want to hear everyone’s opinions and solutions, as it not only stimulates their imagination and helps them brainstorm new ideas but also makes them feel more confident. That said, they might struggle to handle negative feedback, even though it motivates them to improve.
Best and Worst Jobs for INTP-A Personalities
Now that you know how both INTP subtypes act at work, let’s discuss some of the best and worst INTP-A and INTP-T careers.
While both subtypes are drawn to flexible jobs that combine creativity with problem-solving, INTP-As are rather independent and decisive. Because of this, they can make great:
- Business Consultants
- Computer Programmers
- Creative Directors
- Financial Analysts
- Industrial Engineers
- Political Scientists
That said, they should avoid jobs that don’t stimulate them mentally and roles that require them to connect with others emotionally, such as:
- Construction Worker
- Mental Health Counselor
- Sales Associate
- Social Worker
Best and Worst Jobs for INTP-T Personalities
Thanks to their collaborative and adaptable natures, INTP-Ts can excel at jobs that require teamwork just as well as in solitary positions.
So, here are some good job options for turbulent INTPs:
- Environmental Scientists
- Market Researcher
- Research Scientist
- Robotics Engineer
- Sales Engineer
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
- UI/UX Designer
- Web Designer
However, INTP-Ts should avoid repetitive and stressful jobs, such as:
- Administrative Assistant
- Elementary Teacher
- Sales Manager
FAQ on INTP-A vs INTP-T
#1. What’s the difference between INTP-A and INTP-T?
The difference between INTP-A and INTP-T personalities is that one is assertive and confident, while the other one is turbulent and thus prone to self-doubt. In turn, these personalities react differently to stress, changes, and other situations.
#2. How rare are INTP-A and INTP-T?
The INTP personality type is relatively rare, as it’s believed that Architects make up just around 3% of the general population. While it’s hard to say how rare INTP-A and INTP-T personalities are, it’s safe to say that INTP-A is especially rare since most INTPs lean toward turbulence.
#3. What does INTP-T mean?
The acronym INTP-T stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving, and Turbulent, which is a subtype of the INTP personality type.
Congratulations—now you should be able to easily tell the difference between INTP-A and INTP-T personalities!
The main takeaway is that INTP-As tend to be more confident and self-sufficient than INTP-Ts, who are more concerned with other people’s opinions and feelings.
At the end of the day, however, both INTP-A and INTP-T personalities have their unique gifts and challenges. And yet, they have more things in common than not since they both belong to the same personality type!